January 23, 2013
by Judy Wells
Travel can be beautiful thing, but stress and tight schedules can make it nearly impossible to enjoy your surrounding. Not so at Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) where sculptures and art installations greet you at almost every turn.
Approaching the airport by car you’ll come face to face with Hoy es Hoy by Mexican sculptor Javier Marin. The 14-foot bronze sculpture of a woman’s head, showing Mexican, Native American and Asian influences, represents the airport’s multiculturalism.
Glance up as you ride the moving sidewalk on the third floor of the parking garage: That’s David Engdahl’s Migration of the Paper Airplanes, a collection of 150 aluminum sculptures designed to look like paper airplanes soaring overhead.
Checking in? You can’t miss Don Martin’s Habitation series, a 500-foot-long mural depicting elements of Florida’s five-county First Coast region. At baggage claim, 300,000 postage stamps form the course of Peter Hite’s The River mosaic depicting the Nile, Amazon, Mississippi, Ganges, Yangtze and Jacksonville’s own St. Johns rivers.
Heading through the lobby to a concourse you pass display cases filled with fine crafts and The Haskell Gallery, a showcase for the best regional art. Entering the lobby, you may hear the twinkle of music — a flutist, pianist or jazz performance.
Look closely at the glass panels delineating the departures security area. That’s Healing Palms, a 48-panel installation by Jim Draper. The set of 48 panels provide functional art to separate the courtyard area from security screening. Pay attention to the concourse bathroom entrances. They, too, are works of art from Norma Greenwood and Maureen Healy’s Cloudscapes to Gregor Turk’s humorous Pictograms.
The world of travel is full of beauty. Just open your eyes and look around.